St Andrew’s Day 2007 saw the First Minister of Scotland, the Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP, take to the stage to deliver the graduation address in the Younger Hall at the University of St Andrews – almost 30 years since he crossed the same stage to receive his own degree in Economics and Mediaeval History.
After witnessing the graduation of students from around the world today (Friday 30 November 2007) Mr Salmond said the University of St Andrews was a “massive success story in Scotland.”
“We want to achieve a rich society, not just a rich country and education is critical,” he said.
Mr Salmond paid tribute to chemistry Professor Douglas Lloyd who was awarded a PhD at the age of 87 and congratulated honorary graduates Professor Ian Wilson and The Very Reverend Alan Wilson . He also praised University Chancellor the Rt Hon Menzies Campbell MP who conferred the degrees. The University was richer for having a chancellor of this distinction, said Mr Salmond.
Looking back on his student days Mr Salmond revealed he had occasionally worn the iconic red gown – when giving University tours as he realised he could earn more tips when this was the case.
Graduates of this generation would drive and shape the future of the Scottish Nation and their home nations, said Mr Salmond.
“The new Scotland is about pushing boundaries and having the spirit and confidence to achieve.
“My message to you is: Be aspirational, be ambitious, be confident in your abilities – your success will matter not only to you but to Scotland.”
Mr Salmond was presented with a picture of himself in his University days by Principal Dr Brian Lang. The picture showed Mr Salmond welcoming Winnie Ewing, an early stalwart of the SNP, to the University of St Andrews in 1977.
Issued by the Press Office
Ref: Salmond address 301107
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